In Dear Friend, you must change your life, we see some of the most fascinating thinkers in history at their most private and profound, reaching out to a friend, sharing, testing, confirming discoveries about the complexity of life, how to rise above its hardships and enjoy its pleasures. We see writers embrace the roots of philosophical thought afresh, by grappling with real, lived experience, giving us unique insight into their ideas and worldviews that their more polished, public work often does not provide. We see artists sound the foundations of their artistic and moral integrity.
Ranging from Seneca and Marcus Aurelius to Flora Tristan and Walter Benjamin, to Elizabeth of Bohemia and Giacomo Leopardi, to Mahatma Gandhi and Maurice Bejart, we see how the philosophical letter as a form of thinking, and thinking freely, spans across the ages and often forms some of the most interesting and lively of philosophical writings.
Each letter is given a contextualising preface by an expert that brings out the reason this particular letter is a philosophical letter for life. As such, Dear Friend, you must change your life provides a unique introduction to an array of thinkers throughout history as well as an argument for philosophy as conversation, a conversation which has been ongoing for centuries.
Country of Publication:
20 February 2020
Acknowledgements Preface 0. Introduction, Ada Bronowski (New College of Humanities, London) 1. Epicurus: Letter to Moeneceus, Ada Bronowski (New College of Humanities, London) 2. Seneca, Letter to Lucilius 1, Christelle Veillard, (Paris-X Nanterre) 3. Marcus Aurelius to Fronto, Letter 4.3, Gweltaz Guyomarc'h (Lyon III University) 4. Lucian of Samosata, Saturnalis 2, from Chronus to the poor, Alberto Camerotto, (Universita Ca' Foscari, Venice) 5. Descartes, Letter to Elisabeth of Bohemia, from 1st September 1645, Marie-Frederique Pellegrin (Lyon III University) & Delphine Mahut, (ENS-Lyon) 6. Reply from Elisabeth of Bohemia to Descartes, 13 September 1645, Marie-Frederique Pellegrin (Lyon III University) & Delphine Mahut, (ENS-Lyon) 7. Anne Conway to Henry More, 3rd December 1651, Sarah Hutton (York University) 8. Catherine the Great to Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne, 30th Junr 1791, Kelsey Rubin-Detlev, (University of Southern California) 9. Germaine de Stael to Madame Tesse, 30th June 1806, Catriona Seth, (Oxford University) 10. Winckelmann to Usteri, 14 September 1763, Katherine Harloe, (Reading University) 11. Schiller to Goethe, 9th January 1798, Dalia Nassar, (Sydney University) 12. Giacomo Leopardi to Andre Jacopssen, 23rd June 1823, Luigi Capitano (Palermo University) 13. Flora Tristan to Charles Fillieu, 30th July 1846, Maire Cross (Newcastle University) 14. Henry David Thoreau to Harrison G. O. Blake, 3rd April 1850, Rick Furtak (Colorado College) 15. Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas, extract from De Profundis, January- March 1897, Stefano Evangelista, (Oxford University) 16. Mahatma Gandhi to Maganlal Gandhi, 2nd April 1910, Nicholas Owen, (Oxford University) 17. Rainer-Maria Rilke to Lotte Hepner, 8th November 1915, Charlie Louth, (Oxford University) 18. Walter Benjamin to Gerschom Sholem, June 12th 1938, Daniela Helbig, (Sydney University) 19. Francois Truffaut to Godard, 5th June 1973, Antoine de Baecque, (ENS-Paris). 20. Maurice Bejart, Letter to a young dancer, 2000, tba bibliography index
Ada Bronowski is Lecturer in Philosophy at the New College of Humanities, London, UK.